border patrol san diego
A Border Patrol agent monitors an area of the U.S.-Mexico border. / File photo by Adriana Heldiz

The Environmental Protection Agency has said little about the U.S. Homeland Security’s effort to build a wall across the Tijuana River Valley, well, at least publicly. 

But documents obtained by Voice of San Diego show that the two federal agencies have been at odds over the border project since it was first announced in August 2020. 

MacKenzie Elmer reports that officials with the EPA have repeatedly recommended that the Border Patrol add safety measures and conduct safety studies necessary to avoid “catastrophic flooding” should a gate system included in the build across the river fail. 

The EPA has yet to hear from the Border Patrol.

So, what could a big flood look like? Take the 1980 flood in the Tijuana River Valley. It was one of the worst. A flood expert said that if a wall stood in the river then it would be met with water speeds and force equivalent to 175 fully-loaded shipping containers hitting the barrier every second. 

That’s the kind of force that would cause a lot of problems. 

Read the full story here.

Newly Homeless San Diegans Continue to Outpace Newly Housed 

A man stands near his tent on Commercial Street Street in downtown on March 30, 2023.
A man stands near his tent on Commercial Street Street in downtown on March 30, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

It’s now been a year since San Diego County had a month where the number of people falling into homelessness didn’t outpace the number moving into homes.

In March, the Regional Task Force on Homelessness reports that 1,260 San Diegans became homeless for the first time last month and 832 exited homelessness. March 2022 marked the last month that more people moved into homes.

Task Force CEO Tamera Kohler described it as a sobering milestone.

“Even as we continue to house people every day, with March seeing our highest housing numbers in seven months, it’s clear that we are not keeping up with the influx of new people entering homelessness,” Kohler wrote in a statement. “We need to do much more to meet the need and fit the scope and scale of our response to fight homelessness in our community.”

More Harsh Realities:

  • As our Lisa Halverstadt reported last week, city-backed shelters are struggling to house homeless people amid what a Housing Commission official described as a “resource desert” in the aftermath of an influx of new housing and pandemic-tied aid. Meanwhile, the city is trying to ramp up shelter options.
  • In March, only about a third of city shelter referrals by outreach workers or police officers led to an unhoused person securing a shelter bed. Halverstadt previously provided more context on this dynamic.  

Border Report: Narcocorridos Are Back in the Spotlight

Musicians play at Friendship Park at Playas de Tijuana on Dec. 21, 2022.
A file photo of musicians serenading visitors with norteño songs at Friendship Park at Playas de Tijuana on Dec. 21, 2022. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

With canceled musical performances and proposed bans on Mexican norteño ballads that narrate the exploits of drug traffickers, it’s safe to say narcocorridos are back in the spotlight in Baja California.

For this week’s Border Report, Voice contributor Sandra Dibble writes that despite efforts to curb the music, the drug ballads are more popular than ever. 

She breaks down recent developments and taps a professor to explain their significance. 

Read the Border Report here. 

Brews & News

Mark your calendars for May 10 because we’re heading back to Whistle Stop Bar in South Park for our next live podcast! We’ll be joined by special guests to discuss recent political shakeups, upcoming local races, homelessness and more.

It’s free for members so grab your ticket now and join us for an evening of lively conversation and good times. 

In Other News 

  • The Union-Tribune reveals that the county has forked over more than $7 million to settle at least 18 lawsuits filed by victims of ex-San Diego sheriff’s deputy Richard Fischer, who remains in a Vista jail. (Warning: This story is only for U-T subscribers.)
  • The Associated Press reports that student workers in the California State University system – including San Diego State – are trying to unionize.
  • Retired San Diego Community College District chancellor Constance Carroll was just appointed to President Joe Biden’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, The Union-Tribune reports.
  • The Navy pushed for the National Park Service to force the shutdown of a popular webcam at the Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma, CBS 8 reports.

The Morning Report was written by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña, Lisa Halverstadt and Megan Wood. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña and Scott Lewis.

Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.